Featured, Poetry »

eat like kings all summer:/ lobster & steak #poem

By | September 29, 2017

Briny and smiling, he stood
in the kitchen, pulled me over
to the pot, lifted the lid:
an odd insect with pomegranate-
seed eyes waved its feelers
like awkward chopsticks.
I pitied this fish-knight,
fully armored and fallen
into a boiling, iron bay.
As teenagers we poach lobster
after midnight to slip Gamies,
craft traps in the canyon,
smuggle them aboard our skiff,
bait chum and let them sink.
By dark we hoist stuffed
lobster pots up from the coves,
spider …

Connecting California, Featured »

Is California Too Exceptional to Be Part of the U.S.?

By | September 25, 2017

America is terribly polarized.
And it’s all on account of California.
The trouble is not merely that California itself is such a politically polarized place. Or that California contributes to the many causes of polarization: partisan media, ideological movements, cultural atomization, big-money politics, technological change, economic anxiety, and income inequality.
No, the artichoke heart of the matter is that California is simply too big, too exceptional, and too …

Featured, Poetry »

I cough the sun out of its sky #poem

By | September 22, 2017

I cough the sun out of its sky. Letters of the alphabet hurt toward the end. Can we go on without
pronouns? There are at least five ways to say aunt which depend on age. I tear a page out of the
phonebook & place it on my chest. Wind moves through a place other than trees. When we want to
learn a language, what we find to …

Featured, Nexus »

How Mexico and India Fused in My L.A. Kitchen

By | September 21, 2017

It’s a paradox, both of our globalized culture and of Los Angeles: My mother’s quest to cook authentic Indian food when she visits here has taught me a lot about Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine.
I’m not the only one benefiting from this lesson. When my mother, Alicia Mayer, flies in from India and stays with us at our home in West L.A., my friends invite themselves …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

Small and Speedy, Gonzales Is a City on the Move

By | September 18, 2017

Here’s a nasty bit of conventional wisdom: California’s small, rural places are supposedly desperate and doomed, with few economic prospects in an era when state policy favors the urban coastal mega-regions with high-paying jobs and reputations for world-class innovation.
But if that’s true, how do you explain Gonzales?
The small city of just 9,000 sits in the heart of the poor and agricultural Salinas Valley, a region …

Featured, Poetry »

sound travels freely/ through an open window #poem

By | September 15, 2017

Knowing drifting is a process both expected and un-, some
types of animals include lizards, include elephants, include
an amount of pre-thinking to remember that sound travels freely
through an open window, that windows are good enough
and necessary for all. And summer months, we need them most.
With grasses and saplings, eyes adjust to smallness, because
to see them wave or bend gently or …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

Let’s Make a Deal to Keep Immigrant Families Together

By | September 11, 2017

To: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and Attorney General Jeff Sessions
From: The Golden (and Still Sovereign!) State
Re: An alternative to your mass deportation of Californians
This is a legal proposal, but I must start with the following stipulation.
You are monsters.
You are engaged in deportation of undocumented Californians, including many who are neither criminals nor threats to public safety, and are crucial …

Featured, Poetry »

A darkness in the road #poem

By | September 8, 2017

A native Floridian, Carmella de los Angeles Guiol lives and teaches in Cartagena, Colombia. You can find more of her work at www.therestlesswriter.com.

Featured, Nexus »

I Survived the Gangs and the Border Crossing–But Trump Has Put New Obstacles In My Path

By | August 17, 2017

If you quit today, everything you did yesterday will be wasted.
That is the phrase I grew up living in my native El Salvador.
I emigrated to Los Angeles in 2014, a long trip by land that took me two months. I needed to leave San Salvador: I had dreams of being a journalist, but I had no money. I could only afford two years at the …

Featured, Nexus »

As Trump Targets Immigrants, Their Families Are Pushing Back at the Ballot Box

By | August 16, 2017

Since the onset of the Trump era, we’ve been witnessing a very strong and measurable response by immigrants in Los Angeles. This response includes Latino, Asian, and other immigrants. It’s evident in civic participation and in opposition to Trump immigration policies—as well as to the broader anti-immigrant atmosphere that the Trump administration is fostering. The response is demonstrable in voting patterns, in the increasingly progressive …